Oakland Athletics – MLB Trade Rumors 2018-12-11T12:06:09Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[A's Notes: Ramos, Lucroy]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139958 2018-12-11T06:04:46Z 2018-12-11T06:04:46Z
  • The Athletics have checked in with Wilson Ramos, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports, as the club explores its options on the catching front.  It would be something of a surprise if the A’s went to the top of the market to find a catcher, as Ramos would require a pretty pricey multi-year commitment (MLBTR projects three years and $36MM) that could stretch Oakland’s traditionally limited payroll.  While the A’s could boost payroll in an effort to return to the postseason, their pitching staff has enough holes that it probably deserves the lion’s share of dollars if the team did increase its spending.  Committing multiple years to Ramos would also block catching prospect Sean Murphy, one of the Athletics’ better minor leaguers.  It could also be that the A’s were simply doing their due diligence in talking to Ramos, just to see if a minor bargain could be found.
  • A reunion with Jonathan Lucroy also isn’t out of the question for the Athletics, though Slusser reports that other teams have shown interest and the A’s are only offering Lucroy a one-year deal worth under $5MM.  Lucroy is amenable to a one-year pact but wants a larger salary.  Lucroy only hit .241/.291/.325 over 454 PA for the A’s last season, though he drew praise for his clubhouse leadership and handling of a pitching staff that was near-decimated by injuries.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Infield Notes: Machado, Realmuto, LeMahieu, Merrifield, Hernandez, Arenado]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139895 2018-12-10T22:04:25Z 2018-12-10T22:04:25Z Superstar free agent Manny Machado will not meet with teams in Las Vegas, it seems, preferring instead to visit suitors at their home parks, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). That would seem to suggest that his market won’t take off over the week to come, though surely there’ll be relevant developments. If Machado is indeed plotting a course of courtship that will take place over the coming weeks, then perhaps there’s more room for earlier developments in other segments of the infield market …

    • Behind the dish, the Marlins’ asking price on J.T. Realmuto may be creeping back down to more realistic levels, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets. The organization has long been said to be asking for an enormous return in exchange for two seasons of the game’s best backstop, which truthfully isn’t an unreasonable starting point. Still, as Sherman notes, the club will ultimately likely be forced to take what the offer will give. For the Mets, pursuit of Realmuto is still seen “as a long shot,” Sherman adds on Twitter. And the Phillies are presently focused on other pursuits, per Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter), such that they haven’t engaged with their division rivals in Miami regarding Realmuto in a few weeks’ time.
    • The Athletics have reached out to second baseman DJ LeMahieu as they continue to explore the market for second basemen, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. That’s not an indication that the Oakland org is out on Jed Lowrie, so much as the latest sign that a reunion is anything but inevitable with both parties seeing other people. LeMahieu himself likely isn’t the only alternative being considered, Slusser notes; she goes on to explore some of the other opportunities that could be pondered by the A’s brass.
    • In a boon to free agents and teams with potential trade chips at second base, Royals GM Dayton Moore tells MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan (Twitter link) that he is not getting as many questions of late about Whit Merrifield. That’s not because of a lack of interest, though, so much as the fact that the Royals have “pretty much made it clear” they will hold onto the late-blooming star. Merrifield will not even be eligible for arbitration until 2020, though he’ll turn thirty before the start of the 2019 season. From an outside perspective, this seems an ideal time to market a player who’d draw wide interest given his excellent recent production, defensive flexibility, and cheap price tag. But the Kansas City org seems determined to try to build around some of its preexisting roster assets.
    • The Phillies are not finding initial success at generating interest in second baseman Cesar Hernandez, according to Jayson Stark of The Athletic (Twitter link). With a robust slate of free agents at the position and a seemingly increasing list of available trade candidates, there’s some imbalance between the supply and demand. Hernandez, 28, has been a fairly steady performer, but he did fall off a bit with the bat last year and is increasingly expensive at a projected $8.9MM arb salary in his second to last run through the process.
    • Rockies GM Jeff Bridich discussed his team’s long-term relationship possibilities with third baseman Nolan Arenado in an inteview on MLB Network (h/t Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post, Twitter links). Bridich says the club can afford to carry a $200MM+ promise to Arenado, citing a “responsible growth” plan for payroll. Of course, that number may only be scratching the surface of what Arenado could command in a hypothetical post-2019 free agency, so it’s far from clear just yet whether the club will be both willing and able to line up on a new deal to keep him from the open market. Otherwise, unsurprisingly, Bridich acknowledged that the Rox are interested in improving not only in the outfield but also at first base to boost a sagging offense.
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[4 To 5 Teams Reportedly Interested In Trevor Cahill]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139662 2018-12-09T00:41:46Z 2018-12-08T23:45:27Z Fresh off one of his most effective seasons as a starter, free-agent right-hander Trevor Cahill has drawn interest from “four to five” clubs this winter, according to Jon Heyman of Fancred. Cahill now has “multiyear opportunities,” Heyman adds on Twitter.

    It took Cahill until late March to sign last offseason, when he reunited with his first major league team, the Athletics, for a guaranteed $1.5MM. That proved to be a bargain for Oakland, which saw Cahill serve as an important part of a patchwork rotation and help the club to a wild-card berth. Cahill finished first among A’s starters in fWAR (2.0), second in starts (20) and third in innings (110), and managed a quality 3.76 ERA/3.54 FIP with 8.18 K/9, 3.35 BB/9, a 53.4 percent groundball rate and a personal-best 11.7 percent swinging-strike mark. He also dealt with multiple injuries along the way, though, which has often been the case throughout his career.

    Cahill was a prolific innings eater with the A’s and Diamondbacks from 2009-12, a span in which he ranked 29th in the majors in frames (925 2/3) and twice exceeded the 200 barrier. Since then, however, Cahill has only gone beyond the 145-inning plateau once – when he amassed 146 2/3 with Arizona in 2013 – thanks to both injuries and time spent as a reliever. But Cahill, who’s also a former Brave, Cub, Royal and Padre, has functioned primarily as a starter since 2017 and turned in decent results when healthy. With the Padres and Royals two years ago, he combined for 14 starts and recorded a 4.38 ERA/4.30 FIP with 9.75 K/9, 4.13 BB/9, leading Oakland to take a low-cost flier on him an offseason ago.

    Now, thanks to his reemergence as a viable starter over the past couple years, it appears Cahill’s poised to reel in a far more lucrative contract than he received nine months ago. MLBTR predicts Cahill will land a two-year, $22MM pact as he gears up for his age-31 season.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Forst On Rotation, Second Base Needs]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139574 2018-12-07T19:37:04Z 2018-12-07T19:37:04Z
  • Athletics general manager David Forst told reporters Friday that the team planned to explore both trades and free agency in its search for rotation upgrades (Twitter links via Jane Lee of MLB.com). There’s no preference between the two, it seems, as Forst indicated that the A’s are “dipping into” both markets “equally.” Regarding the club’s second base situation, while there’s been talk of a new contract for Jed Lowrie since this summer, Forst suggests that there’s no clear direction on how they’ll address the position just yet. Oakland is still having internal discussions about adding a second baseman, giving the job to prospect Franklin Barreto or finding a platoon partner for the 22-year-old Barreto, per Forst. Barreto, who hit .259/.357/.514 with 18 homers in 333 plate appearances with Triple-A Nashville in 2018, is considered to be among Oakland’s best prospects. He’s managed just a .252 OBP in the Majors to this point in his career, but that’s come at a young age and in a tiny sample of 151 PAs.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Boras: Kyler Murray “Has Every Intention” Of Playing For A’s]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139480 2018-12-06T23:45:18Z 2018-12-06T20:02:49Z Recent top Athletics draft pick Kyler Murray is most famous for his role as a standout quarterback at the University of Oklahoma, but he already inked a $4.66MM deal to join the Oakland organization over the summer. Some whispers have circulated that Murray could be enticed by the NFL draft, where he might also be a first-round talent, but agent Scott Boras largely shot down that idea in a chat today with Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

    If Boras was not quite fully committing, he nevertheless did not leave much wiggle room for his client. “Kyler has every intention of fulfilling his agreement with the A’s,” said Boras, who adds that Murray “will be in Spring Training with the A’s” (as Fancred’s Jon Heyman indicated earlier this week, on Twitter).

    That’s good news for the Oakland organization, which surprised many by taking Murray ninth overall. There is no questioning his immense athletic ability, of course, but the collegiate star is much more accomplished and polished on the gridiron — if only due to the fact that he has focused his attention to that higher-profile collegiate pursuit.

    Notably, as Slusser explains, the A’s have a lot to lose if Murray changes his mind. While the club would get its money back, it wouldn’t receive a compensatory pick as occurs in situations where no agreement is consummated in the first place. As part of the initial deal with Murray, the Athletics organization agreed to allow him to finish out his career at OU.

    Murray himself had raised a few eyebrows with recent comments in which he seemingly indicated there was still an opening for a football future. Certainly, his draft stock has risen after an immense season for the Sooners, though it still seems unlikely he’d be considered at the very top of the draft class due to his short stature. Regardless, Boras suggests that Murray’s words shouldn’t be parsed too closely. After all, he is being pressed with attention as he nears a potential Heisman Trophy.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Athletics Acquire Tanner Anderson, Add Four To 40-Man]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=137935 2018-12-01T19:15:07Z 2018-12-01T19:14:46Z Dec. 1, 1:04 PM: Right hander Wilkin Ramos is Pittsburgh’s return in the deal, the teams announced this afternoon. Ramos, 18, spent all of last season at Oakland’s Dominican Summer League affiliate, where he posted an 8.55 K/9 against 3.83 BB/9 over 40 IP. He stands a projectable 6’5, 165, but didn’t rank among the team’s top 30 prospects in recent updates by various outlets.

    Nov. 20, 6:48 PM: The Athletics announced today that they have acquired righty Tanner Anderson from the Pirates. The Oakland organization has also added four players to its 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft: outfielders Luis Barrera and Skye Bolt along with righties Grant Holmes and James Kaprielian.

    Anderson is a 25-year-old who was originally taken in the 20th round of the 2015 draft. He has steadily marched through the Pittsburgh farm since becoming a professional, working as both a starter and reliever. He shifted to the pen full-time in 2018.

    Though he hasn’t typically produced exciting strikeout numbers, Anderson limits the free passes and long balls. And he has generally produced outstanding groundball numbers. Indeed, Anderson has yet to finish a season with less than a 60% groundball rate. In the just-completed season,he worked to a 2.64 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in 61 1/3 innings.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Athletics Non-Tender Mike Fiers, Kendall Graveman, Cory Gearrin]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=138941 2018-12-01T01:44:47Z 2018-12-01T01:06:16Z The Athletics have non-tendered a trio of right-handed pitchers, as MLB.com’s Jane Lee tweets. Starters Mike Fiers and Kendall Graveman will be sent to free agency along with reliever Cory Gearrin.

    It had been widely expected that Fiers would return to Oakland. After all, the A’s certainly need arms and he was quite successful in 2018 on both sides of the trade that sent him out west from the Tigers. He ended the season with a 3.56 ERA in 172 innings.

    Still, Fiers projected to earn a hefty $9.7MM salary. And the results came in spite of some rough underlying stats. Fiers checked in with 7.3 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9, but coughed up 32 home runs — the same tally he allowed in the prior campaign. All of the major ERA estimators value him as a 4+ performer over each of the past four campaigns.

    Graveman, meanwhile, is still recovering from Tommy John surgery and will likely miss most or all of the 2019 campaign. But he’s an interesting pitcher who should draw plenty of looks on the market. Gearrin, too, seems like a prime target as a steady veteran reliever. The A’s simply preferred not to pay their salaries, which were projected at $2.5MM and $2.4MM, respectively.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Players Avoiding Arbitration Prior To Non-Tender Deadline]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=138829 2018-12-01T05:55:41Z 2018-12-01T01:00:56Z Tonight marks the deadline for MLB clubs to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players. As such, there’ll be a slew of pre-tender agreements announced today — particularly for arbitration-eligible players who might have otherwise been non-tender candidates. As we saw yesterday (and frequently in previous seasons), players agreeing to terms before the tender deadline will often sign for less than they’re projected, as the alternative in some cases may simply be to be cut loose into a crowded free-agent market.

    We’ll track today’s pre-tender agreements here, with all referenced projections coming courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz

    • Giants infielder Joe Panik settled at a $3.8MM price tag, per Heyman (via Twitter). That’ll represent a savings as against the $4.2MM projected salary. Many had wondered whether the new San Francisco front office would move on from Panik, who has one more year of arb eligibility remaining. Meanwhile, Heyman tweets that reliever Sam Dyson has agreed to a $5MM pact. That also comes in $400K below his projection.
    • The Padres settled with righty Bryan Mitchell for $900K, Heyman tweets. Mitchell had been a non-tender candidate at a projected $1.2MM sum.
    • Newly acquired first baseman C.J. Cron has agreed to a $4.8MM contract, the Twins announced. He projected to a $5.2MM salary; this becomes the latest of many indications of the unstable market position of defensively limited slugger types.
    • The Indians have settled with righty Danny Salazar for $4.5MM, Jon Heyman of Fancred tweets. He was projected at $5MM, with some wondering whether the Cleveland organization might non-tender him. The talented hurler missed the entire 2018 season. Meanwhile, righty Nick Goody is slated to earn $675K, Heyman tweets.
    • Southpaw Jonny Venters avoided arb with the Braves, David O’Brien of The Athletic tweets. It’s a $2.25MM deal, sitting well over the $1.5MM projection, though certainly his unusual career path could have led to some additional arguments for a stronger raise.
    • The Cardinals announced an agreement with lefty Chasen Shreve. Terms aren’t yet known. The 28-year-old had projected to take home $1.2MM for the 2019 campaign, but will settle at $900K per Heyman (via Twitter).
    • Pirates righty Michael Feliz has avoided arbitration with the club, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic was among those to report on Twitter. Feliz projected at a $900K salary and will get $850K, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets. It’s a split agreement that promises $375K in the minors, per Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (via Twitter).
    • Infielder Tyler Saladino has agreed to a $887,500 salary with the Brewers, Jon Heyman of Fancred tweets. That comes in below the $1MM he projected to earn.
    • The Athletics settled at $2.15MM with Liam Hendriks, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter), all of which is guaranteed. That’s just where he projected ($2.1MM) on the heels of a fascinating 2018 season. Hendriks was dropped from the MLB roster in the middle of the season but returned late in the year in dominant fashion as the A’s “opener.”
    • Lefty Sammy Solis agreed to terms with the Nationals to avoid arbitration, the club announced. He profiled as a potential non-tender candidate, so it seems likely the organization pushed to get something done before the deadline. Solis, who has an intriguing power arsenal but struggled through a homer-prone 2018, projected at $900K. He’ll earn $850K, per Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post (Twitter link).
    • The Athletics announced that they’ve agreed to a one-year deal with righty Ryan Dull in advance of tonight’s deadline. He’ll get $860K, Fancred’s Jon Heyman tweets, which checks in pretty closely with his $900K projection. Dull, 29, posted a 4.26 ERA with 21 strikeouts and seven walks in 25 1/3 innings of relief in 2018.
    • Heyman also tweets that the Padres and Greg Garcia, whom they claimed off waivers earlier this offseason, settled on a one-year deal worth $910K that aligns with his $900K projection. Garcia hit .221/.309/.304 in 208 plate appearances with St. Louis last season and is a career .248/.356/.339 hitter in 860 plate appearances.

    Earlier Agreements

    • The Brewers and Hernan Perez avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $2.5MM, as first reported by Heyman. He’ll check in a bit shy of his $2.7MM projection but remain on hand as a versatile utility option in Milwaukee.
    • Left-hander Tony Cingrani and the Dodgers avoided arb with a one-year deal worth $2.65MM. That checks in just south of the lefty’s $2.7MM projection. Cingrani turned in a brilliant 36-to-6 K/BB ratio in 22 1/3 innings but was also tagged for a considerably less palatable 4.76 earned run average.
    • The Red Sox announced that they’ve agreed to terms on a one-year contract for the 2019 season with right-hander Tyler Thornburg. They’ve also tendered contracts to the remainder of their arbitration-eligible players, though the terms of those deals will be negotiated in the coming weeks. Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston tweets that Thornburg will earn $1.75MM i 2019 and can earn another $400K via incentives. I’m told that includes $100K for reaching each of 45, 50, 55 and 60 appearances. Thornburg, 30, was roughed up to the tune of a 5.63 ERA in 24 innings for the Sox this season — his first action for Boston since being acquired prior to the 2017 season. His Boston tenure has been utterly derailed by thoracic outlet syndrome and the ensuing surgery. Thornburg was excellent for the 2016 Brewers, and Boston parted with Travis Shaw in order to acquire him, so the Sox will surely hope that a regular offseason of rest and further removing himself from TOS surgery will get the righty back on track. This will be Thornburg’s final season of club control. He’d been projected to earn $2.3MM.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Players Avoiding Arbitration: Thursday]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=138739 2018-11-30T01:27:32Z 2018-11-30T01:27:44Z With the non-tender deadline looming tomorrow, there figure to be several players agreeing to pre-tender deals to avoid arbitration today. Many players who agree to terms prior to the deadline will be fringe non-tender candidates and, as such, are likelier to sign for less than they’d been projected in order to avoid a non-tender. We’ll keep track of today’s players who are avoiding arbitration in this post (with all referenced projections coming courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz)…

    • The Royals announced that they’ve agreed to one-year deals with both Cheslor Cuthbert and Jesse Hahn. Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports (via Twitter) that Cuthbert will earn $850K, while Hahn’s deal contains an $800K base salary. Both were definitive non-tender candidates, as Cuthbert batted just .194/.282/.301 in 117 plate appearances this past season. Hahn, meanwhile, didn’t pitch in 2018 due to a sprained ulnar collateral ligament that ultimately required “primary repair” surgery — a similar, but less invasive alternative to Tommy John surgery that is perhaps familiar to Royals fans after Seth Maness previously underwent the procedure.

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    Matt Swartz <![CDATA[Arbitration Breakdown: Khris Davis]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=138492 2018-11-29T15:44:38Z 2018-11-29T15:44:38Z Over the last few days, I have been discussing some of the higher profile upcoming arbitration cases. I rely partly on my arbitration modeldeveloped exclusively for MLB Trade Rumors, but will also break out some interesting comparables and determine where the model might be wrong. 2019 arbitration projections are available right here.

    Khris Davis enters his third year of arbitration under somewhat familiar conditions—with a .247 average (matching his exact batting average in each season from 2015 through 2017) and at least 40 home runs in his platform season. Coincidences aside, my model sees him getting his biggest raise ever, a $7.6MM bump, good for an $18.1MM salary projection. Last year, he got a $5.5MM raise from his initial $5MM salary in his first year of arbitration.

    With career highs of 48 home runs and 123 runs batted in, it is pretty logical that Davis is projected to get his biggest raise yet. On top of that, the same type of performance in the third year of arbitration eligibility is typically associated with a larger raise than it would in the second year of eligibility.

    Davis’ case obviously hinges on his power numbers, which is certainly a fortunate skill to possess when it comes to arbitration; power is the skill the arbitration system favors most heavily. Looking for appropriate comparables for Davis is going to require looking for other players who have had significant tallies of the right counting stats, so we should restrict our search to prominent sluggers.

    Somewhat surprisingly, in the past decade, only one player has hit 40 home runs going into his third year of arbitration: Todd Frazier, two years ago. Frazier only hit .225 that year and fell just short of 100 RBIs with 98. Davis hit eight more home runs than Frazier did, too. Putting that together, we get an absolute floor of the $3.75MM raise from Frazier’s case.

    Even if we soften the home run requirement to 35 and require 100 RBIs, we only get one player in the past five years: Charlie Blackmon, last year. He got a $6.7MM raise for hitting .331 with 37 home runs and 104 runs batted in. There was some debate last year about whether that was enough of a raise, with some rival agents taking shots through the media claiming he should have gotten more. If applied back to Blackmon’s case, the current iteration model does project his 2017 season to support a larger raise of $7.8 million. That also means that the model slightly prefers that season, with its lofty batting average but lesser power stats, to the one just turned in by Davis. All things considered, Blackmon seems like a pretty solid overall comparable, one that either side in the Davis case could argue off of.

    It is difficult to come up with other comparables in recent years, but if Davis and the A’s go further back, they might want to look for someone who led the league in home runs like Davis did going into his third year of arbitration. That would be Matt Kemp, who got a $5.05 million raise for his .324/39/126 season in 2011. That is obviously very stale, but it makes it plausible that Davis could get a similar kind of raise with inflation, although his batting average was obviously worse.

    With so few plausible comparables, it is difficult to know what Davis could command. In such situations, I would lean towards the model, especially without much evidence that the number was too high or too low. Regardless, in the current era with so many home runs being hit league wide, it will be interesting to see how this affects future cases for guys like Davis who hit so many home runs. Of course, we may not get to see a one-year settlement. The relationship seems to be working for both sides and all involved surely remain mindful of the open market’s devaluation of sluggers, so it would not be surprising to see a multi-year agreement of some kind.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Athletics Announce Stadium Plans]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=138708 2018-11-29T14:30:23Z 2018-11-29T14:24:32Z Yesterday, the Athletics announced their initial plans for a long-awaited new ballpark. Set in Oakland’s Howard Terminal, the proposed new facility would represent a marked departure from standard stadium design.

    Renderings and other information are available here. They show a waterfront facility that might be described as baseball’s version of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. A fan-accessible, greenscaped ring (the club calls it an “elevated park”) surrounds a much tamer inner stadium that’s notable mostly for its ample provision of standing room and snug, 34k-seat capacity.

    There’s more to this than the architecture, of course. The proposal, like most other ballpark projects we’ve seen of late, would include plans for mixed-use development featuring “housing, including affordable housing, offices, retail, small business space and restaurants, hotels, public gathering spaces, and parks.” Transportation challenges could be met in part by a gondola system connecting to downtown Oakland, which certainly sounds like a unique new way to get to a ballgame.

    As with the Rays, the other MLB organization that realistically lacks a contemporary stadium and has recently proposed a striking new facility, public handouts will not completely carry this project through. In this case, while the A’s will surely seek public support in a variety of ways — acquiring rights to the site, to take but one notable example — the club says it will fully finance the ballpark construction through private means.

    Needless to say, it’s quite an ambitious overall undertaking that will take some time to pull off. The team says it hopes to break ground in 2021 and open the ballpark in time for the 2023 season. For a perennially underfunded A’s club, there’s a lot at stake. As the organization itself claims on the stadium website, getting the new facility up is necessary to “retain our players and build a more competitive team.”

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Athletics Reportedly Interested In Matt Harvey]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=138055 2018-11-22T02:27:59Z 2018-11-22T02:27:59Z
  • Heyman also tweets that in addition to the Reds, Matt Harvey is drawing some level of interest from the Athletics. Cincinnati’s interest in Harvey has been well-documented, as he won over some decision-makers in the organization during his four-month run with the Reds. As for Oakland, their search for rotation help is no secret. It’s unlikely that the cost-conscious A’s will be players for the highest-priced options on the free-agent market, making second- and third-tier options
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Players Added To The 40-Man Roster]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=137743 2018-11-21T02:32:37Z 2018-11-21T00:15:47Z Tonight marks the deadline for players to be added to their respective organizations’ 40-man rosters. Over the nine hours, there’ll be a flurry of moves, ranging from minor trades (like the one the Indians and Rays made yesterday), waiver claims and players being designated for assignment or outrighted. Each will be made to clear room for players who need protection from this year’s Rule 5 Draft. As a reminder, players who signed at 18 years of age or younger and have five professional seasons are eligible, as are players who signed at 19 or older and have four professional seasons under their belts.

    Here’s a rundown of players who’ve been added to their respective 40-man rosters (which will be updated throughout the day)…

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On A's Pursuit Of Sonny Gray ]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=137607 2018-11-18T02:47:06Z 2018-11-18T02:47:06Z Although the Athletics contacted the Yankees about right-hander Sonny Gray at least a week ago, “there is no present momentum in talks” between the teams, Jon Morosi of MLB.com tweets. A return to Oakland would represent a homecoming of sorts for Gray, a 2011 first-round pick of the A’s who mostly thrived with the club from 2013-17. The A’s dealt Gray to the Yankees in July 2017 for a bounty of prospects, but he has since looked like a poor fit in the Bronx, leading general manager Brian Cashman to concede that “it’s probably best” for the Bombers to move the 29-year-old this winter. Gray’s down to his final season of team control, in which he’ll earn a projected $9.1MM. Even for a low-budget team like Oakland, $9MM-plus for Gray doesn’t look like an unreasonable figure. Gray pitched like a front-end starter away from Yankee Stadium last year, after all, so he could boost an A’s rotation which is clearly in need of help.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Market Chatter: Greinke, Suzuki, Eovaldi, Reds, Nats, Phils]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=137502 2018-11-16T13:43:32Z 2018-11-16T07:00:29Z The Diamondbacks are “aggressively shopping” righty Zack Greinke, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). With $95.5MM of salary still due over the next three years, he’s an expensive option. But the deal is at least cabined in length, and the Snakes have a good shot at getting out from under most of it. (Alternatively, the club might be able to pay down a larger portion and recoup some talent in a swap — or go in the other direction and include additional talent to make the whole contract go away.) It’s still largely unclear how things will shake out, but the fact that the Arizona organization is looking for a taker certainly makes a trade seem quite plausible.

    Here’s the latest chatter on the rest of the market:

    • It is a testament to veteran backstop Kurt Suzuki that he has been re-signed, re-acquired, or extended by three of the four organizations he has played for. One of those, the Athletics, could have designs on a third stint. Per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, there has already been some discussion between the Oakland club and the 35-year-old free agent. Suzuki has never been more productive at the plate than he was over the past two years with the Braves, when he turned in a cumulative .276/.341/.485 slash with 31 home runs in 697 plate appearances. Slusser also notes that reliever Shawn Kelley remains a possibility to return, with four other teams also inquiring about securing his services.
    • Nathan Eovaldi’s health is a major factor in his free agency. Though he’s only 28 years of age, the righty has undergone a pair of Tommy John surgeries and required another elbow procedure before making it back to the mound in 2018. Of course, the results were quite promising, and he has now also received a strong endorsement from his surgeon today, as Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports. Dr. Christopher Ahmad says that, after conducting an extensive examination, he “would consider [Eovaldi] in the same category of somebody who has a healthy arm.” While any signing team will want to take a look for itself, it’s obviously quite a notable opinion to receive at the outset of free agency.
    • The Reds would surely love to land Eovaldi or another higher-end arm, though it’s still questionable whether they’ll dabble in that end of the market. What is clear, president of baseball operations Dick Williams said in a radio interview, is that the club hopes to find a pair of new pitchers — likely starters (via Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer). Getting the right arms won’t just mean waiting to see what shakes loose at a cheap price, says Williams. Rather, the club intends “to be in front of these agents and these other teams talking more aggressively.” Sure enough, Jon Heyman of Fancred says the Reds have engaged with the Mariners (James Paxton), Indians (Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco), and Yankees (Sonny Gray). With the Cinci org said to be hesitant to move its best assets, getting the desired arms could mean exploring some creative trades. That said, Williams shot down recent chatter surrounding purported Padres interest in star Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez. “Just to sort of nip that in the bud, I’ll tell you that rumor is unfounded,” said Williams.
    • It’s also clear that the Nationals are on the lookout for starters, though here also it’s hard to know just where the team may focus. As I discussed recently in setting forth the team’s outlook for the 2018-19 offseason, there are an abundance of possibilities at this point. Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post provides some insight into the club’s thinking while ticking through the options. She notes that the Nats “think highly” of free agent Dallas Keuchel — the match we predicted when we broke down our Top 50 Free Agents. That’s not to say, of course, that he’s a uniquely clear fit in D.C. As Janes explains, the organization still seems likely to canvass the market, though it seems reasonable to anticipate that it’ll come away with at least one significant new hurler.
    • Staying in the division, it’s worth looking back at a post we missed at the time. Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported recently that the Phillies are quite likely to deal away third baseman Maikel Franco. Indeed, it seems there’s a reasonable match already under contemplation with the Padres. Of course as noted above, the Friars clearly are interested in looking around the rest of the market before pulling the trigger on a deal for Franco. The Phils are also said to be willing to discuss Cesar Hernandez, though he seems much less likely to be shipped out. It’ll be interesting to see how everything will unfold in Philadelphia, as the team is known to be chasing some of the biggest names on the market but also has some less consequential moves that it could contemplate pulling off first.